Release Date: Mar 6, 2007
Record label: Team Love
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Is there anyone out there who doesn't heave a weary sigh at the news that a member of a major band is about to release an extracurricular solo album? There is, after all, a vast wealth of empirical evidence to suggest it's a bad idea to temporarily release yourself from the creative shackles of collaboration and let loose with the ideas that you can't get past your bandmates. Said empirical evidence stretches back to 1968, the year George Harrison and John Lennon both decided to release themselves from their creative shackles and ended up foisting an album of meandering synthesiser doodles called Wonderwall Music, and Two Virgins - an indispensable recording of John Lennon and Yoko Ono walking around and muttering at each other - on a nonplussed public. As recent efforts from Thom Yorke and Manic Street Preacher James Dean Bradfield have demonstrated, extracurricular solo albums are the spin-off series of rock.
Fitting that this new solo outing from Super Furry Animals frontman Rhys has landed on Conor Oberst's label's lap. Although you'd never confuse Rhys' everything-and-Bob-Dylan-Thomas muso-pop with Oberst's plaintively American sob, both are enamored of snaring love in what often seem willfully obscurantist songs. Candylion wisely sidesteps – for the most part – its songsmith's chiming but impenetrable mother tongue, opting instead for the queen's English, carried aloft (on the gorgeous title track, and on the epic closer, "Skylon!") by a sort of mellifluous Welsh rare beat that Yanks only ever hear in their dreams.